Rights & Responsibilities

Faculty Rights

Assess all students on the mastery of core competencies

A student with a disability has to show that they have learned the core competencies of the course and should be held to the same grading standards as students without disabilities.

Protect fundamental elements of the course, including test security and test validity

Accommodations are never provided if they prevent the student from learning the fundamental elements of the course or invalidate the assessment tools.  If you feel that an accommodation is inappropriate for your particular course or have questions or concerns, please contact the Disability Counselor at your campus.

Teach in an environment conducive to learning

Students with disabilities are held to the same student code of conduct as all other students.  If a student is disruptive in your course, follow college disciplinary procedure, regardless of whether the behavior is related to the disability or not.

Expect professional assistance for accommodations

Sometimes a student may need assistance from another person in order to have access to a course. This individual will either be provided or approved by Disability Services.

Faculty Responsibilities

Implement prescribed accommodations

Once an instructor is informed of the accommodations needed by a student with a disability, the instructor is responsible for doing their part in making sure the accommodations are provided.  If you have any questions about how to implement an accommodation or whether an accommodation is appropriate for your particular course, please contact the Disability Counselor.

Ensure that elements of the class are accessible

If you plan to use videos, handouts, field trips, activities, etc. in your course, contact the Disability Counselor at your college well in advance to address any potential accessibility issues.

Maintain student’s right to confidentiality

The fact that a student has a disability and the type of disability is confidential information. Some students have obvious disabilities or may talk quite freely about their disability, however, it is their choice about how much they share. As a general rule, treat all information as confidential. Do not talk about a student's disability with co-workers or other students. If you are asked to help recruit a notetaker for a student, please say something along the lines of "There is a student in the class who needs someone willing to share notes with them. Can I please have a volunteer?" instead of "John Smith (pointing to student) has a disability which prevents him from being able to write quickly and needs someone to share notes...". John may not mind being identified, but unless he has given you permission to identify him, please respect his privacy.

Discuss concerns/questions privately with the student and the Disability Counselor

If you have questions or concerns related to a student's disability or accommodations, please speak to the student and/or Disability Counselor in private. Disability information can be sensitive and should not be discussed where other students or employees can overhear.


A more detailed explanation of the differences in rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities in secondary school and postsecondary institutions can be found in two pamphlets issued by the Department's Office for Civil Rights. They are “Transition of Students With Disabilities to Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators,” available at: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transitionguide.html and “Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities,” available at: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html.